Complete information regarding high school lab science (“D”) requirement update, with clarification for AP Computer Science, UC-issued fact sheet, and revised criteria, etc. from a UCOP email received on February 20, 2019.
- Freshman Admission Laboratory Science requirement update
- UC’s revised course criteria for area D
- Updated laboratory science (area D) disciplines
- AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles
- Commonly Asked Questions on Area D revised discipline options
Freshman Admission Laboratory Science requirement update
The laboratory science requirement (area D) has recently revised the discipline options for A-G courses submitted for UC approval. These updated science disciplines align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California public schools.
In an effort to ensure accurate information is accessible and available to our partners in the counseling community, this special edition of the Counselors and Advisers Bulletin is dedicated to providing more detailed information on this revision.
There is a fact sheet with this information on the Downloadable Resources web page for Counselors on the UC Admission website.
UC’s revised course criteria for area D
UC has issued updated area D course criteria, effective for the 2019-20 school year, for high school courses to be eligible for approval in the laboratory science subject area, including allowing for online labs.
As of February 1, 2019, courses submitted to UC in the laboratory science (D) subject area for the 2019‐20 school year and onwards must include a laboratory that can be classroom‐based, fully online, or a hybrid. At least 20 percent of class time will include teacher-supervised, hands-on laboratory activities that are directly related to, and support, the other class work and that involve inquiry, observation, analysis, and write-up of investigations consistent with the practices of the scientific field. Teacher supervision of labs may be synchronous or asynchronous (that is, occurring at the same time as the labs are completed or occurring separately after the labs have been completed, depending on the learning environment).
Updated laboratory science (area D) disciplines
UC has introduced revised science discipline options for courses submitted under the laboratory science (D) subject area. These updated science disciplines align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California public schools that many high schools across the state have been implementing.
UC’s admissions requirement for area D continues to be two years of college-preparatory laboratory science, including or integrating topics that provide fundamental knowledge in two of these three subjects: biology, chemistry, or physics.
One year of approved interdisciplinary or earth and space science coursework can meet one year of the requirement.
New: Computer Science, engineering, or applied science courses approved in area D can be used as an additional laboratory science (i.e., third year and beyond).
AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles
The College Board maintains an A-G reference list for AP courses which shows the subject area categorization of courses as they have been submitted to UC for A-G approval. Currently, AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles are both approved for area G (college-preparatory elective). The decision to revise and resubmit AP Computer Science A and/or AP Computer Science Principles for area D rests with the College Board, as they are responsible for selecting the subject area in which they would like their computer science courses to be considered (i.e. area D or area G).
For more information about area D course criteria, please see the A-G Policy Resource Guide.
Commonly Asked Questions on Area D revised discipline options
Does this change affect courses that have already been approved by UC on the A-G course list?
No, the current policy revision does not apply to courses approved prior to academic year 2019-20.
Does this change affect summer school options for students who need to repeat a course?
A-G courses are approved for an academic year, which begins in August and continues through the end of the following summer ending in July. If a student plans to repeat/remediate a deficient lab science course, the student would have until the end of July to complete the course. For 2018-19, the A-G course list is not affected by the revision. Updated course criteria for area D are effective for the 2019-20 year. If a student plans to repeat/remediate a lab science in summer 2020, the changes would be in effect at that time.
Are AP Computer Science A/AP Computer Science Principles now approved as an area D lab science courses? Where is the A-G list that indicates the approved subject area for AP courses in Computer Science?
No, currently these courses are approved in area G. The College Board maintains an A-G course list for AP courses. Search by program on the A-G course website. If the College Board wants their AP Computer Science A/AP Computer Science Principles to be considered in area D then they will have to submit their course(s) for area D review under the revised policy.
Will current area G computer science courses need to be resubmitted to earn an area D lab science designation?
Yes. All course authors (not UC and in this case the College Board) are responsible for determining the specific subject area in which they would like their course(s) to be considered for A-G approval.
Will AP Computer Science A and AP Computer Science Principles BOTH be considered lab sciences in the D category? Will this be taking effect now in 2018-19 or next year in 2019-20?
The A-G course submission period is February 1 – September 15. If the College Board chooses to submit AP Computer Science A/ AP Computer Science Principles for area D consideration during the current 2019 submission period, the approval decision would take effect for the academic year 2019-20.
Can a course be approved for both area D and area G?
Courses can be approved in only one subject area.
Would an online publisher course (e.g., an Edgenuity Chemistry course) that includes virtual labs meet the area D requirements without the addition of an in-person wet lab if the course is on the approved A-G course list?
Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, lab science courses that are approved on the A-G course list can be classroom-based, fully online or hybrid. All labs must include teacher supervision, but this supervision can be either synchronous (occurring at the same time as labs are completed) or asynchronous (occurring separately after the labs have been completed).
Is UC increasing the lab science (D) subject requirement from two years to three years?
UC’s lab science (D) subject requirement continues to be two years of lab science required; three years recommended.
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